Monday, October 18, 2010

John Gutmann. The Photographer at Work.

John Gutmann. The Photographer at Work. By Sally Stein, with an introduction by Douglas R. Nickel, contribution by Amy Rule. Yale University Press, New Haven, 2008. 176 pp., 150 duotone illustrations., 9¼x11¾". Images from photo-eye.

John Gutmann was a German-born American photographer and painter, who after fleeing Nazi-Germany settled in the US working as a photo-reporter and photographer. He's known for his distinctive use of a worm's-eye view camera angle in shooting his photographs.

Gutmann especially took an interest in American way of life and "captured images of American culture, celebrating signs of a vibrant democracy, however imperfect. His own status as an outsider - a Jew in Germany, a naturalized citizen in the United States - informed his focus on individuals from the Asian-American, African-American, and gay communities, as well as his photography in India, Burma, and China during World War II.

This handsome book acknowledges Gutmann’s place in the history of photography. Drawing on his archive of photographs and papers at the Center for Creative Photography, it presents both unfamiliar works and little-known contexts for his imagery, linking his photography to his passionate interest in painting and filmmaking, his collections of non-Western art and artifacts, and his pedagogy.

In addition to a major essay by Sally Stein, the volume includes an introduction by Douglas R. Nickel, and an overview of the Gutmann archive by Amy Rule."

Quote from publisher's description.

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